the director, Harry Home, the cast and the theatre
members in general, this production won. Encouraged by this success,
entries in the Finley Award were made each year subsequently,
with outstanding results. The 1985 musical "Esther"
won the award for Roleystone a second time. "White Horse
Inn" the following year came 3rd. Roleystone had reason to
feel proud of the standard it was achieving and its reputation
for staging very professional musicals was now well established.
Involvement in the Finley Awards wasn't restricted to entering
the competition - several of the members with wide theatre experience,
were invited to join the panel of adjudicators, their judging
duties taking them to many theatres around the metropolitan areas.
Certainly Roleystone was increasingly becoming conscious of the
work being done by other groups and in 1983 didn't hesitate to
send a delegate to the meeting arranged to discuss the proposal
of forming an Inter-Theatre Co-operative. The result of that
meeting was the establishment of the Independent Theatre Association
(I.T.A.) under whose direction the Annual State One Act Drama
Festival is now organised.
The State Drama festival up to this time had not generated any particular interest among Roleystone's few producers of one act plays. Certainly one act plays were used as "training exercises" for budding directors but the serious business of entering a festival was not considered as part of the process. However the I.T.A:s strong promotion of the festival tempted Roleystone to enter the competition for the first time in 1986. Kim Martin chose an historic drama, "Vivat, Vivat, Regina" as his entry. He was very pleased to report to a theatre meeting shortly after the conclusion of the festival that "Vivat, Vivat, Regina" received 7 nominations in the State One Act Drama Festival and took out the award for the best stage manager - Paul Osenton - and first runner up for best actress - Maureen Hawke". Roleystone has since then entered plays regularly into the state festival.
|Kim Martin, in the 1980's established himself as a major composer of musicals. The original scores, clever libretti (on occasions written in collaboration) and bold direction of his presentation has left an indelible mark on that decade and beyond. The first, "Esther", based on the biblical story possessed wit, bright humour and a relevance easily grasped by the audience. Kim's music, Jennifer Kemp's lyrics and Vicki Prince's scripts all worked well and the adjudicators of the Finley Awards thought it good enough to reward the production first prize (1985).||The Finley Award Trophy first won in 1983 with"Stop the World I Want to Get Off". This award for best amateur production was won again in 1985 with "Esther" and in 1991 with "Guys and Dolls"|
Two years later 'Mr Scrooge" was staged, appropriately
as the last show of the year and it certainly provided the theatre
with a good dose of Christmas cheer. Much of the charm of 'Mr
Scrooge" was due to the number of children in the cast and
in this respect the continuation of one of the theatre's most
important traditions - encouragement of the young performer, was
well and truly maintained. Since the very first decade young people
have made an important contribution to theatre life.
Earlier in 1987 for instance a very ambitious undertaking was embarked upon by Gillian Kerr-Shepherd when she managed to convince The Roleystone Committee to let her stage Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet". Quite apart from the worry of how the Roleystone audience would react to such a production, her decision to use a large cast of basically untrained teenagers left her wide open to possible disastrous consequences. With extreme skill, tact and firm direction a beautifully moulded and delivered production resulted, the young cast rising more than adequately to the task that she set them. Six of the young cast members from this production were later to decide on acting as a career. At least one, Paul Peacock
||A scene from Gillian Kerr-Sheppard's 1987 production of Romeo and Juliet which used a large cast of juvenile players. The lively scene was enhanced the excellence of Colleen Rintoul 's spectacular set.|